Are Mouthpiece Toothbrushes Good for Kids? | Mount Lawley Dental
Are Mouthpiece Toothbrushes Good For Kids
Kids Dentistry

Are Mouthpiece Toothbrushes Good For Kids

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If your kids are reluctant brushers, you might be on the lookout for anything that makes brushing their teeth less of a chore. If you've come across mouthpiece toothbrushes, these could seem like the answer you’ve been looking for.

2 minute read

Introduced in the last few years, retailers claim that this new type of toothbrush can clean all of your teeth at the same time, saving time and trouble. Sound too good to be true?

Here's why parents should be cautious about mouthpiece toothbrushes and why you should talk to a family dentist before making any changes to your child's daily oral hygiene routine.

 

How does a mouthpiece toothbrush work?

Also known as a mouthguard toothbrush, whole mouth toothbrush, 10-second toothbrush and by many other names, a mouthpiece toothbrush is a type of electric toothbrush designed for kids and adults.

A series of nylon bristles fits over the teeth like a mouthguard. When the device is activated, these bristles move to clean the front, back and chewing surfaces of teeth at the same time.

A mouthpiece toothbrush can be used with your normal toothpaste, which should be applied to all of the bristles. Cleaning can take 10 to 45 seconds, depending on the product.

 

Are mouthpiece toothbrushes effective?

This is the important question. These toothbrushes may be faster and more convenient than moving a standard electric or manual toothbrush around your mouth, but do they do as good a job at preventing tooth decay and gum disease?

The answer seems to be no. A review of studies by Electric Teeth found that the cleaning performance of mouthpiece toothbrushes was severely lacking compared to standard toothbrushing techniques.(1)

This is partly due to the design of the unit, which is not customised for each user's unique mouth or jaw. In many cases, bristles were found to be too short to reach all parts of the teeth.

The need for users to bite down while brushing also restricts the movement of the bristles compared to a normal electric toothbrush.

The medical claims and endorsements for mouthpiece toothbrushes were also found to be dubious, and this lack of reliable information makes these products a purchase of considerable risk.

 

What does the evidence say?

Clinical trials of mouthpiece toothbrushes are limited, as these are fairly new products on the market. The first findings were published in June 2020, based on two small studies using different devices:

  • A study by the University of Florence found that a mouthpiece toothbrush used for 2 minutes was not effective at removing dental plaque and was not significantly different from not brushing. (2)
  • Another study concluded that using a mouthpiece toothbrush was inferior to standard brushing due to the device's poor fit and inappropriate alignment of the bristles.(3)

The designs of mouthpiece toothbrushes may be improved in the future, but based on experiences with products currently available, these devices are not recommended as a replacement for a manual or electric toothbrush for any age.

 

Talk to a dentist in Mount Lawley

If you want more advice about caring for your children's teeth or to make an appointment with a family dentist in North Perth, contact our friendly team at Mount Lawley Dental today

Call us on (08) 9227 8777 or you can book an appointment online. We also serve nearby suburbs including Highgate and Inglewood.

 

References

  1. https://www.electricteeth.com/au/mouthpiece-toothbrush/
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/13/4649
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00784-020-03359-5

 

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